How do you convince the millions of Trials Evolution players to spend money on official downloadable content when they can already download thousands of user-made creations for free?
The solution developer RedLynx has discovered is to load up their $5 DLC packs with new bikes, new clothes, new editor tools and new land masses -- all things that cannot be created by players using the free in-game editor.
Course-creating fanatics will instantly want both pieces of Trials Evolution's DLC, as over a hundred new parts and special effects have been crammed into the game's already robust track building feature. Players who simply enjoy downloading custom courses from Track Central will also want to purchase both Origin of Pain and Riders of Doom, as it's impossible to download any tracks that contain the new editor tools unless the DLC is unlocked and installed to your hard drive.
Trials Evolution originally shipped with one massive 3D environment called "Crash County," which houses all the courses from the main game. Because each track in Trials Evolution must be placed directly on top of the world terrain, there were only so many quality building spots in Crash County where custom tracks could be erected.
RedLynx has solved the issue of limited land space by including a new 3D world with each DLC bundle. Origin of Pain's "Paine Island" is a low-lying coastal region, with palm trees lining the bike paths and plenty of shallows and streams to wade through. Riders of Doom's "Big Sands," by contrast, is a dusty desert wilderness, with rocky architecture similar to Arizona or New Mexico.
Throughout the 44 total single-player events, gamers' thumbs will be tested by some of the toughest Trials terrain ever invented. Riders of Doom, in particular, contains some of the series' most sadistic level designs in its "Nutcracker" and "Rage Face" tiers. Origin of Pain is definitely the easier of the two expansion packs, so if difficulty is a concern, consider playing through Origin of Pain first before plunging face-first into the skull-smashing difficultly of Riders of Doom.
The increased challenge, unfortunately, does not extend across the 15 new Supercross tracks, which are split unevenly among the two expansions; Origin of Pain comes with ten Supercross arenas, while Riders of Doom includes a mere five. These multiplayer-exclusive races still feel disappointingly short and simplified compared to the tougher single player trials.
Bike-wise, Riders of Doom also feels like the lesser of the two bundles. While Origin of Pain offers an entirely new gameplay experience with its motorless, chain-and-pedal, Gecko 520 BMX bike, Riders of Doom's new set of wheels is the 350cc Banshee motocross bike -- a machine that only diehard Trials players will find distinguishable from the default garage of motorbikes. To preserve the integrity of the game's online leaderboards, neither the Gecko nor the Banshee can be used in any of Trials Evolution's original levels.
Overall, Origin of Pain offers a more interesting bonus bike plus a larger selection of single player and Supercross tracks, making it the pull-away winner over Riders of Doom. Aside from sheer difficulty, Riders of Doom only manages to outdo Origin of Pain in its selection of Skill Games -- offering ten to Origin of Pain's two.
Hardcore Trials fans have probably already bought and played through both booster packs. But for casual players, especially those who are reluctant to spend money on a game that provides so much free downloadable content, the best move is to grab Origin of Pain first, then consider picking up Riders of Doom later, after "Paine Island" has been fully explored.